Circulating Ideas - The Privatization of Everything





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Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas
The Circulating Ideas podcast facilitates conversations with the innovative people and ideas inspiring libraries to grow and thrive in the 21st century. This newsletter dives deeper into those conversations.
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Keep circulating your ideas!

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Ben Franklin‘s Library Company, which charged subscriptions to borrowers, is generally regarded as the foundation for the public library as we know it. This evolved into the open stacks and public library systems we know today, but lurking in the corners is the skulking form of privatization.
Libraries are not businesses and should not be motivated by the same incentives that drive businesses (this mindset is generally what ignites the internet fights about using the word “customer” for a person served by a library). While we should be efficient and responsible and mindful of the money that goes out the door, public service is our end goal, not profit or higher returns for investors or hockey stick growth charts.
Privatized libraries offer a bait and switch to local governments. Cut the library budget to save the local government money? Check! And what does that mean? Lower levels of staffing, lower levels of resources, lower levels of services, lower levels of storytimes, lower levels of community outreach, lower levels of everything…
Except the profit of the management company.
In this episode of the podcast, I chat with Donald Cohen, the founder and executive director of In the Public Interest, a national resource and policy center on privatization and responsible contracting, about his new book, The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back. We discuss not only library privatization, but the long history of privatization and how it can - and does - affect our lives.
I hope this discussion helps circulate some ideas in your head!
Episode 212
The Privatization of Everything
The Privatization of Everything
CI212: Donald Cohen
CI212 Transcript
The Privatization of Everything | The New Press
Why the Hell Would You Want to Privatize Libraries? ‹ Literary Hub
Publisher's Weekly Nonfiction Book Review
The History of Privatization: How an Ideological and Political Attack on Government Became a Corporate Grab for Gold
Privatization in the United States - Wikipedia
Does Privatization Serve the Public Interest?
How privatization could spell the end of democracy | Technology | The Guardian
In the Public Interest | Donald Cohen
Postal Banking Is Finally a Reality in (Some of) the United States - In These Times
John Chrastka – EveryLibrary
School libraries are under attack with book challenges and outright book bannings. Take action to support school librarians and libraries across the United States with EveryLibrary!
Save School Librarians
Quick Note
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Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas @circideas

Circulating Ideas facilitates conversations with the innovative people and ideas inspiring libraries to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

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